Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How simple is Real Simple Syndication?

Too simple, apparently, at least according to opponents of a new service called SplashCast. As outlined in this post on the Podcasting News Blog (which I highly recommend -- though I am not paid or otherwise rewarded for saying so), the service lets users set up their own podcast channels and share them via RSS (Real Simple Syndication).

The problem is that in doing so, the service reportedly mangles the original RSS feed somewhat, making it more difficult for podcast producers to track listeners for advertising purposes. There is also some question about how well the links back to the producer's site work after the feed is "Splashed" and recast.

Not sure how this will work out yet. I doubt it will result in everyone filing suit a la YouTube, as most podcast producers don't have that kind of money and extra lawyers milling about. But they do have audience and can make life hard on this newcomer.

Which, I guess, is another example of the circle of life. Podcasters had it tough in the early days, but they bulled their way through in typical high-tech entrepreneurial fashion. They overcame the obstacles and created an audience. Now, they're into the monetization phase. But wait, someone is stepping in with a new way to distribute their content and suddenly it's not about The Man getting hot because you're spinning your old 45 collection on your podcast anymore. Now, it's personal. Everyone move up one seat and the game begins again.

Fortunately, we don't have to worry about all that in the B2B space. It was never about social media with us. It was always about building a brand and capitalizing on it in the marketplace. Most B2B podcasts aren't currently being used to close sales. They are door openers. They are non-threatening ways to get prospects educated so that the sales process goes more smoothly. We like it when someone steals our content and takes it to a greater market, giving us the shivers that come with an attack of viral marketing. We like companies like SplashCast that make it easier for our target markets to hear our voices and want to seek us out.

Does that make us socially conscious dot-com good-niks? Naw, just good marketing folk.
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